I am in Ireland with a shiny new client. This is a big one and I have been solemnly told by the powers that be to keep a sharp eye out for further opportunities. If this engagement goes well, we could have lots of work for months to come.
I arrive at the client’s offices on time and after the usual security kerfuffle, I introduce myself to the members of the team. We sit around a large boardroom table in a small room and I quietly sit and listen as they tell me all about their project.
After about an hour of discussions, I am confident that I know all I need to know to help them out. We move to a open-plan office and I see cubicles stretch out in front of me. My contact shows me to a desk which I will use and points out how to get online. He then asks if I would like something to drink.
The small meeting room was a little stuffy and I need a glass of water.
“Let me show you where the kitchen is, then you can help yourself,” he offers.
We walk through a maze of bowed heads, murmurs and clacking keyboards and reach the kitchen in no time.
“So,” he says, pointing at the cupboards, “here you can find coffee and here you can find tea. Milk is in the fridge and sugar is always on the counter.”
I nod and eye the coffee tins.
“Where,” I ask, “shall I get a cup from?”
He gives me a look as if I had asked if I could abuse his pet cat.
I nod, “Yes, you know; to make myself a coffee?”
“We don’t have cups or mugs. You’ll have to bring your own but then you can have as much tea and coffee as you like.” He walks off and shakes his head, muttering something to himself.
I go out and buy myself a mug.
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